Meghalaya govt moots PPP mode to tackle malaria

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Shillong, Jun 19 (UNI) The Meghalaya government today mooted the idea of adopting Private-Public-Partnership (PPP) mode to tackle malaria, which continues to be a major health problem.

'' The government will work along with NGOs to spread awareness among the people, especially in the rural areas of the state,'' Chief Minister Donkupar Roy said at an advocacy meeting on malaria.

Last year alone, over 230 people died of the disease in the state.

The figure was an increase from the previous year's death rate by over 60 per cent. In the year 2005, there were only 41 malaria deaths were recorded.

''We will extend all help to NGOs to tackle malaria, especially in the rural areas of the state,'' the Chief Minister said. He also assured that the government would ensure full utilization of the entire medical infrastructure at its disposal for containing malaria in the state.

Pointing out that the disease mainly affects the poor people, Dr Roy, who represented Shella constituency, a malaria-prone area, said people in the rural areas dif not even have basic amenities like mosquito nets. He added that some of the villagers even refused to co-operate with the visiting medical teams.

''Most of the villagers refuse to get their blood tested and also refuse spraying of DDT, while most deaths are due to treatment by non-experienced medical practitioners,'' State Health and Family Welfare Minister Adviser Pariong said.

Dr Pariong also called for concerted efforts on part of both the government machinery and NGOs to tackle the spread of the vector borne disease.

''There is still a need for awareness in the community regarding causes, symptoms, cure and control of malaria, importance of blood smear examination and pro-active behaviour changes in the community with non governmental organizations,'' he said.

Dwelling on the PPP mode mooted to tackle malaria, officials working under the National Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (NVBDCP) said awareness initiatives and pro-active behaviour changes in the community partnership with NGOs, faith based organisations (FBOs) and local self government (Panchayat) is envisaged under the NVBDCP.

''NGOs, FBOs, community based organizations (CBOs) and Panchayat would complement and supplement the government efforts to make a significant dent in the malaria burdens and bring about betterment of overall health and economic condition of the population in the endemic areas of malaria,'' state programme officer, Meghalaya Vector Borne Diseases Control Programme (MVBDCP) Dr N Nongrum said.

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